The collection of funds and material within Canada constituted but one side of the work of the Canadian Red Cross Society, and it became necessary at a very early period in the war to establish in England an office to carry on the Society's affairs. The appointment of a Commissioner, with the subsequent addition of Assistant Commissioners and a War Committee, provided for the direction of the work which, beginning by gifts of supplementary supplies to Canadian Hospitals, developed into a great business with many departments, subject to almost daily modification as the needs of the war fluctuated.
To furnish the Army Medical Corps with supplementary equipment in the shape of hospitals and motor ambulances was one of the earliest calls on the Society. The Duchess of Connaught Red Cross Hospital at Cliveden, the beautiful home of Major the Hon. Waldorf Astor; the King's Canadian Red Cross Convalescent Hospital at Bushey Park, lent by His Majesty to the Society; the Princess Patricia Special Hospital at Rams-gate; the Buxton Special Hospital—all altered and equipped at the expense of the Society but officered by the Canadian Army Medical Corps, provided some three thousand additional beds to the accommodation at the disposal of the military authorities, while a fleet of some two hundred motor ambulances (averaging a cost of $2,500 each) serving in England and France, carried thousands of gallant men from the torments of the battlefield to the skilful tendance of doctor and nurse.
One of the largest motor ambulance units in France was that of the Canadian Red Cross with headquarters at Etaples. Rest Homes for Nurses provided a haven for some of the hundreds of brave women who risked life and health and reason in their desire to alleviate the sufferings of the sick and wounded.
The distribution of the supplies made or shipped from Canada as well as those bought in England constituted one of the most important branches of this work over-_